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Election 2008 Tue Nov 04 2008
Reporter Sheila Burt is on the scene in Grant Park and will be reporting from there LIVE! Check back for interviews and reports from our reporter on the scene.
Updates: Pictures from the Rally Inside!
UPDATE 1: 15:57 - Among the Crowd
Ticket holders for tonight's Obama rally have been camping out since early this morning. One of the first in line is Tate Jorgensen, 24, who is a "plus one" tonight from his friend Rafi Zelikowsky. Jorgensen has been standing in line since 8:30 am, though some of his friends got here as early as 7:30. "Since I heard about this event, I knew I wanted to be here for it," he says. "Now that we're here, it's really exciting. I'm starting to get anxious to get inside."
In order to be in Chicago for Election Day, Jorgensen cast an absentee ballot for Obama from his home state of Nevada.
The lines stretches from Congress Pwky and Michigan Avenue in three rows to Harrison.
Eric Smallberg and his friends Erin Goldman and Matt Jones are in the third row, playing cards to pass the time.
At nearly every corner in the Loop, merchandisers are selling Obama gear, mainly buttons and tee-shirts. Adam Hall and Jose Herrera are standing at the southwest corner of Congress and Wabash, selling buttons and Obama rally towels for $5. Hall, who sells the merchandise for Fountainhead Media, has sold gear for both McCain and Obama all across the east coast. He says the Obama rally towels sell well since there are few vendors in the city who sell them. At McCain rallies, he says people aren't too interested in the merchandise. "They just seem miserable," he says.
UPDATE by text 20:32:
Dark out but crowd still extremely anxious. Every time a state goes to McCain the crowd boos. Many people are camped on the grass watching CNN on the jumbo TV.
This message from Drive-Thru Editor Robyn Nisi:
Great experience but getting in was an oddball experience. I had a ticket, so when I got to the entrance I was approached by a total stranger who begged to be my +1 in full view/earshot of a security guard. "Uh, I don't know," I stammered, and turned to another security guard and showed my ticket; he also asked me if I was alone, and when I said yes, replied "HERE is your guest," and pulled from nowhere a woman who gushed "Thank you!" and strolled on in. I said nothing.
Also, two friends of mine who were also in the ticketholder area warned me via text about the long security lines (metal detectors, etc.) but no one was being screened. I walked right in.
I couldn't believe all the Obama swag being sold every 20 feet outside of the event-shirts, hats, pins, posters, etc.
Coming back was totally fine, similar to normal rush hour commuter traffic.